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Precision Plus October 2015 Education Update

Michael Reader

During the month of October, 2015, students from two local high schools visited Precision Plus in Elkhorn, Wisconsin to tour the facility and learn about careers in manufacturing. Mark Beilman,  Director of Education and Training, organized the events.  Beilman also visited an intermediate school (grades 4-8) during their career fair, to share the manufacturing message.

On Thursday, October 8th, Precision Plus welcomed Gateway Technical College’s Alternative High School, a creation of the Walworth County Educational Consortium in partnership with Gateway Technical College and local high schools. Allison Ender, Teacher of Senior Skills, and Derek D’Auria of the Walworth County Economic Development Center led the group of six students.

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Students and teachers first listened to Mark Beilman’s presentation on the company, the processes and the products manufactured at Precision Plus He also addressed the group about career possibilities at the company and the industry. Later, Beilman along with Tom Lankford, Production Manager, and Steve Dues, Tooling Engineer, led the students on a tour of the plant..

On October 12, Mark Beilman attended a Career Fair at the McNeel Intermediate School in Beloit, Wisconsin. He and Lindsay Healless, Career Advocate for Beloit Schools, talked to students during their lunch breaks not only about manufacturing, but also about the importance of education for succeeding in life. The students were then given an opportunity to visit the Precision Plus table and ask questions about CNC machining, manufacturing, and the benefit of getting a good education.

On October 15, 2015, students and teachers of Whitewater High School in Whitewater, Wisconsin came through Precision Plus for a presentation and tour, similar to the one given earlier in the month.

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Precision Plus continues its initiatives to bring technology to classrooms and schools to see manufacturing first hand.

For more information, please contact Mark Beilman via email, or by calling 262-743-1700.

Precision Plus of Elkhorn, WI Celebrates MFG DAY with an Open House for the Community on October 8, 2015

Michael Reader

We want to extend a sincere “Thank You!” to everyone who helped make Precision Plus’ (PPI) 2015 Manufacturing Day (MFG DAY) Open House a success!

In all, there were forty-two guests who participated in the event on Thursday, October 8, 2015–members of our community that included educators, students, business partners, and the public at large.

The evening event, which began at 5:00 pm and concluded at 7:30 pm, centered on the manufacturing process as it is practiced at Precision Plus

Mike Reader, President and CEO of Precision Plus kicked off the evening by introducing the team, and sharing his thoughts about manufacturing. He pointed out the marked shift the industry has made over the years from a “dark, dirty and dangerous” environment, to clean, high tech industry surroundings that offer rewarding, high-paying careers to individuals who can combine their applied knowledge of STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), with the practical know-how of how things get done.

Following, several team members spoke about some of the different aspects of the operation:

  • Bill Wells, Sales and Engineering Manager, addressed the quoting and purchasing aspect of the business;
  • Rachel Cates, CAD Drafting, Engineering & Quality Assurance Support Specialist, talked about the design process, and featured a 3D design of a component;
  • Steve Dues, Application Engineer, explained how the CAM software works, and shared a video that takes a part from a 3D print design, through the CAM software to the CNC machine;
  • Terry Mumper, Manufacturing Engineer, talked about the Tornos machines, and the importance of math for designing CAMs;
  • Tom Lankford, Production Manager, explained how to optimally schedule production on different machines, and talked about the benefits to start “getting your hands dirty early in shop classes,” in order to become successful in a machining career;
  • Dale Wittlieff, Director of Quality and Continuous Improvement, talked about how quality fits into “everything” that PPI does, and explained the specifics.
  • Mark Beilman, Director of Education and Training, spoke about PPI’s education outreach, and showed the “Millennials Video” made by Wisconsin Manufacturing & Commerce.

Following the presentations, guests took tours of the facility, had refreshments and took home a key chain souvenir, a scaled replica of the component featured by Rachel Cates in the 3D design and by Steve Dues in the video.

We look forward to MFG DAY 2016!

Precision Plus on the Move: Barry Butters Visits Area Schools

Michael Reader

As part of the continuing effort to bring attention to the manufacturing industry as a viable career option for today’s youth, Barry Butters, Director of Education and Training, and other representatives from Precision Plus Inc. have been traveling to Wisconsin area high schools and technical colleges.

On November 1st, Butters spent the day at Burlington High School’s Career Day Fair.  The event allowed students to gather information from the booths of various prospective employers from a wide array of industries.

“It was evident from the discussions with the students, that there are still a number of misconceptions about manufacturing,” said Butters.

Butters then traveled three and a half hours to Eleva Strum High School on November 7th. Technology Education teacher Craig Cegielski, has developed an operational manufacturing company run by the students within the school. The Eleva Strum staff, students and community were filled with pride about what their program has accomplished to date.  Cegielski’s outstanding efforts bring real-life manufacturing experiences into his classroom.

Butters and Production Supervisor Charles Lankford, traveled to Blackhawk Technical College in Janesville on November 19th.  They took a tour of the CNC Machine Program facility and met with CNC Technician Instructor Rich Grossen.  The entire manufacturing program at Blackhawk will be moving to a new facility in nearby Milton in the near future. The Advanced Manufacturing Training Center at Milton will result in larger capabilities for the program.

On November 26th, both Barry Butters and Mike Reader, President of Precision Plus, traveled to Richmond-Burton High School to speak to an “Introduction to Business” class about the manufacturing industry.  Mike shared the challenges of running a manufacturing business in the current economy, and Barry focused his remarks on employability skills.

Subsequently, Butters traveled to East Troy High School on December 1st to speak to Mark Beilman’s “Introduction to Engineering” class about the manufacturing industry and specifically what is manufactured at Precision Plus Inc.  East Troy is a first-year Project Lead the Way (or PLTW) school with just one-course offering. Beilman shared that East Troy High School plans to add an additional PLTW course each year.  Precision Plus Inc. is a big supporter of the PLTW Program, which follows the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Initiative to promote the field of engineering. The PLTW curriculum strives to provide experiences to stimulate interest in the manufacturing industry.

 

Reader and Butters attended the State Project Lead the Way Conference in Pewaukee on December 9th, for which Precision Plus is a “Friend of STEM” donor.  At the conference, Wisconsin’s Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch addressed the state’s PLTW teachers, where she acknowledged the skills gap that companies, such as Precision Plus, are facing.  It was encouraging to see the sheer number of high school educators working in conjunction with the PLTW program through the Milwaukee School of Engineering to stimulate interest in the youth of Wisconsin toward this field.

On January 7th, Precision Plus representatives, President Mike Reader, Director of Sales and Engineering William Wells, Production Supervisor Tom Lankford, Director of Education, and Barry Butters, Director of Education and Training, traveled with Elkhorn’s District Administrator Jason Tadlock and Assistant Principal Dan Kiel to tour Beloit Memorial High School’s Technical Education facility. What has been accomplished at this facility in a short period of time is remarkable. Steve McNeal, Beloit’s District Administrator, said it was truly a partnership between the school and local industry leaders.  Beloit Memorial High School has also hired Ryan Rewey to be the Technology Education Coordinator to ensure the program’s success.

Butters again traveled back to Beloit Memorial High School to speak to PLTW teacher Tammy Spoerk’s classes on January 10th.  Butters message centered on the potential for a great career in the manufacturing industry and specifically, what is manufactured at Precision Plus

Butters went back to East Troy High School to speak at their Career Day on January 14th. He and fellow manufacturer Jerry Heckel from Heckel Tool & Manufacturing Corporation gave a presentation to 40 students on the skill-set needed to join the manufacturing industry, including problem-solving skills, a significant background in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, as well as experience in traditional metals classes.

Butters plans to visit Delavan-Darien High School and Woodstock High School in the near future.  Mike Reader is committed to the cause of re-introducing the manufacturing industry to the next generation of professionals, dispelling the misconception that manufacturing is a dirty and dangerous profession. Precision Plus Inc. invites any individual or group interested in learning more about the manufacturing industry to their facility for an informational tour.  Furthermore, Barry Butters and Mike Reader will travel to speak to any group interested in learning about the manufacturing industry.  Feel free to contact them with any requests at 262.743.1700 or via email: Barry ButtersMike Reader.